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The Offense Industry Strikes Again

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brianvds
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« on: September 08, 2020, 07:52:52 AM »

Two articles on the whole Clicks saga:

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-09-08-clicks-stores-trashed-over-racist-ad/

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2020-09-08-the-clicks-fiasco-and-the-politics-of-black-hair/

I wonder whether companies don't sometimes deliberately make "offensive" ads, on the assumption that there ain't no such thing as bad publicity... :-)

Plenty of weird little ironies here. Clicks is apparently one of the few major retailers that bothers to cater for black hair in the first place, but the writer of that second article bitterly complains that they are just out for profit (well, what the freck do you EXPECT from any business!?), and calls for them to close down are not enough. I wonder if either she or the EFF realizes that Clicks' workers are, er, mostly non-white.

Except if it really is a deliberate publicity stunt, I doubt whether companies will deliberately make an offensive ad. In other words, it did not even occur to whoever made the ad that it might be misinterpreted. Which tells me he may in fact be LESS racist than everyone else.

It brings us back to that cultural appropriation thread. My reaction, had I been the advertiser, would have been to say "I apologize; it will never happen again." And indeed, it wouldn't: I would never again feature a person of color in any of my ads.

Of course, we all know that at least in the case of the EFF, it has zilch to do with anything; it's just their particular brand of loud, destructive publicity. It's FUN to trash a store and assault its employees, so why not take a day off from work to go indulge in this hobby? Oh, wait: in all probability, few of them are actually employed, mainly because a) they are unemployable; and b) they don't want any work anyway. That's what Zimbabweans are for.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 08:20:01 AM »

I wish they would get less airtime than this over silly shit that nobody even noticed. SA needs to learn to tune them out.

Then the DA comes out and charges the EFF with inciting violence and seconds later affirms just how offensive said ad is.

Is it really? I doubt the people who created the ad were white supremacists. In fact, Clicks refuses to comment on the race of the "offenders": Something that makes my nostrils twitch.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 08:32:34 AM by BoogieMonster » Logged
brianvds
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 09:31:22 AM »

I wish they would get less airtime than this over silly shit that nobody even noticed. SA needs to learn to tune them out.

Then the DA comes out and charges the EFF with inciting violence and seconds later affirms just how offensive said ad is.

I suppose it's possible to both agree the ad is offensive and at the same time reject public violence as solution.

Quote
Is it really? I doubt the people who created the ad were white supremacists. In fact, Clicks refuses to comment on the race of the "offenders": Something that makes my nostrils twitch.

It might be interesting to go into it to see who first took offense, and how the story then spread. These things tend to be faddish; some person somewhere is mildly offended (or perhaps even amused), posts it on social media, then it gets taken up by others who are more offended, and then it explodes out of all proportion to the original level of offensiveness, simply because in crowds, people tend to lose all sense of personal responsibility or identity.

It may indeed be best not to feed the frenzy via the media; on the other hand, if retail stores are being burned down, one can argue that it really is news.

Now that both the ANC and DA are very publicly committing suicide, I suppose the EFF is looking forward to a significant increase in voters too.
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brianvds
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2020, 07:59:21 AM »

And the latest news:

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-09-09-clicks-to-close-all-its-stores-for-one-day-to-counsel-staff/

Bunch of pathetic cowards, if you ask me, and I'm tempted to suggest there's a simple solution...

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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2020, 11:06:12 AM »

Well that tannie from PE's got your back. Wink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swwI4CwUjQ8
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brianvds
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2020, 11:17:46 AM »

Well that tannie from PE's got your back. Wink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swwI4CwUjQ8

That could have gone very bad - the tannie could have been hurt. :-)
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brianvds
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2020, 06:24:03 AM »

Not everyone thinks the EFF is cool:

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-09-09-we-need-to-talk-urgently-about-our-new-generation-of-activists-a-small-cohort-romanticising-war-and-violence/
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Mefiante
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2020, 12:18:08 PM »

Timely words from Habib, despite there being little prospect that they’ll be taken seriously or provoke any useful action by our dysfunctional state machinery.  Even so, I have a minor gripe:  He doesn’t examine why violent (youth) activism and fascist sentiment are on the rise in SA.  In my view, it really is as simple as being the inevitable upshot of general mounting frustration and impatience with the ANC’s manifest, repeated, rapidly expanding, and ongoing failures, after more than a quarter century’s being at the country’s helm, to effect positive and meaningful change in ordinary SAns’ lives.  The EFF is merely being opportunistic in exploiting the ANC’s ponderous ineffectiveness and ineptitude, and the ANC appears to be oblivious to this obvious status quo.  In the unlikely event that Julius & Co. ever achieve a majority in SA, you can be sure that they’ll stamp out with a hobnail boot the very same dissent they are now inflaming.

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2020, 13:23:42 PM »

Easy to see why when I see even the ANC keep trying to capitalize on their own ineptitude. Every "plan" they come up with (one as destructive as the next, if it needs stating) is always pitched as being meant to address some calamity that was created by some of their own previous bright ideas.

For example, read the section titled "The ANC on prescribed assets".

Is that not a perfect example of "When everyone needs you to stop digging, find a bigger spade"?
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brianvds
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2020, 16:27:46 PM »

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Mefiante
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2020, 17:38:24 PM »

Wow, a whole new industry is being built around the notion that whatever someone does or says, there will be someone else somewhere who is poised and ready and eager to leap at taking umbrage.  To exploit this recent social phenomenon, enterprising minds have concocted a potpourri of sweet-smelling “solutions” to help address the surging social scourge of inadvertently stepping on someone else’s toes (and make a buck out of it).  One example of the remedies being offered is ‘unconscious bias’ training.

Instead of the reader slamming their face into a palm or desktop, or raising impolite general questions about the actual effectiveness of services claiming to improve general politeness, it’s worth contemplating what would happen if someone were to slam these endeavours as smarmy, exploitative, and/or opportunistic.

Then again, I may well be in need of said ‘unconscious bias’ training to purge my ‘unconscious bias’ against disingenuous hooey…

'Luthon64
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brianvds
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2020, 03:02:29 AM »

Wow, a whole new industry is being built around the notion that whatever someone does or says, there will be someone else somewhere who is poised and ready and eager to leap at taking umbrage.  To exploit this recent social phenomenon, enterprising minds have concocted a potpourri of sweet-smelling “solutions” to help address the surging social scourge of inadvertently stepping on someone else’s toes (and make a buck out of it).  One example of the remedies being offered is ‘unconscious bias’ training.

Instead of the reader slamming their face into a palm or desktop, or raising impolite general questions about the actual effectiveness of services claiming to improve general politeness, it’s worth contemplating what would happen if someone were to slam these endeavours as smarmy, exploitative, and/or opportunistic.

Then again, I may well be in need of said ‘unconscious bias’ training to purge my ‘unconscious bias’ against disingenuous hooey…

'Luthon64

It's all very well to send Unilever staff on unconscious bias training. But should we perhaps also send EFF members on anger management training? Looking at the ad it is not difficult for me to see why it might have offended some. And here is how it might have been resolved:

EFF: Dear Clicks, it has come to our attention that you have an advertisement that could send the wrong message (see attachment 1). We find it rather offensive that it is implied that black folks have abnormal hair. Perhaps you want to rephrase?

Clicks: Oops, we see what you mean. Didn't mean it to be taken that way, sorry. We'll withdraw the ad immediately.

EFF: Thanks for understanding!

Now instead they burn down half of a country that is already in deep economic doodoo.

What bothers here is that the company has now caved in, in abject hand-wringing terror, before a bunch of opportunistic, fascist thugs. You can be sure the EFF will now be emboldened to become even more aggressive. This is exactly how they managed to eventually take over in Italy and Germany.

In any event, I for one will henceforth do what I can not to offend: I will not talk to any black folks, or write stories about them, or make paintings of them, or employ them in any capacity. I'll dutifully stick to my own culture; that way I can't possibly offend, exploit or culturally appropriate anyone. Right?
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2020, 08:37:52 AM »

Wow, a whole new industry is being built around the notion that whatever someone does or says,

"That's a nice business you have there, pity if someone were to ransack it until you engaged our services...". Moreover, I find myself wondering which competition to TreSemme stands to gain the most from having them cast off of the shelves...

Quote
there will be someone else somewhere who is poised and ready and eager to leap at taking umbrage.  To exploit this recent social phenomenon, enterprising minds have concocted a potpourri of sweet-smelling “solutions” to help address the surging social scourge of inadvertently stepping on someone else’s toes (and make a buck out of it).  One example of the remedies being offered is ‘unconscious bias’ training.

I'm sure the course itself renders one unconscious also.

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Instead of the reader slamming their face into a palm or desktop, or raising impolite general questions about the actual effectiveness of services claiming to improve general politeness

Or, in different words: Toeing the line.

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it’s worth contemplating what would happen if someone were to slam these endeavours as smarmy, exploitative, and/or opportunistic.

Perish the thought!

Quote
Then again, I may well be in need of said ‘unconscious bias’ training to purge my ‘unconscious bias’ against disingenuous hooey…

I'm sure it's quite conscious Mefi.  Wink

It's all very well to send Unilever staff on unconscious bias training. But should we perhaps also send EFF members on anger management training? Looking at the ad it is not difficult for me to see why it might have offended some. And here is how it might have been resolved:

EFF: Dear Clicks, it has come to our attention that you have an advertisement that could send the wrong message (see attachment 1). We find it rather offensive that it is implied that black folks have abnormal hair. Perhaps you want to rephrase?

Clicks: Oops, we see what you mean. Didn't mean it to be taken that way, sorry. We'll withdraw the ad immediately.

EFF: Thanks for understanding!

I don't see the headline grabbing self enrichment and aggrandisement in your plan. Perhaps you forgot to include it?

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Now instead they burn down half of a country that is already in deep economic doodoo.

AS IF that even stopped any socialist from blaming YOU for our economic woes while they strike the match.

Quote
What bothers here is that the company has now caved in, in abject hand-wringing terror, before a bunch of opportunistic, fascist thugs. You can be sure the EFF will now be emboldened to become even more aggressive. This is exactly how they managed to eventually take over in Italy and Germany.

Sadly, needs to be said. Not that anyone will listen. But this is a well trodden historical path. The (my real gripe with the DA) appeasement flows. In fact, the real problem may be far too much politeness.

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In any event, I for one will henceforth do what I can not to offend: I will not talk to any black folks, or write stories about them, or make paintings of them, or employ them in any capacity. I'll dutifully stick to my own culture; that way I can't possibly offend, exploit or culturally appropriate anyone. Right?

Some of the newest directions contemplated for BEE may preclude this. The truth is we're slowly becoming prisoners, not citizens.
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brianvds
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2020, 10:55:14 AM »

Quote
In any event, I for one will henceforth do what I can not to offend: I will not talk to any black folks, or write stories about them, or make paintings of them, or employ them in any capacity. I'll dutifully stick to my own culture; that way I can't possibly offend, exploit or culturally appropriate anyone. Right?

Some of the newest directions contemplated for BEE may preclude this. The truth is we're slowly becoming prisoners, not citizens.

What they may try to do and what they can do in practice may turn out two different things. BEE really only applies to large companies (there's more to loot!). It will be difficult to try applying it to even small businesses.

Incidentally, speaking of BEE, Clicks is very much a BEE company, owned and staffed almost in its entirety by blacks. And now the EFF has targeted them for destruction. I wonder if the best response would not be to have a very good laugh? :-)
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brianvds
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« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2020, 07:15:01 AM »

And here we go again:

Investigation into US professor sparks debate over Chinese word

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-54107329
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